Sheriff J.B. King
Welcome aboard one more time for another column full of whatever I can think of to report on for today. We have been very busy with a lot of thefts of late. We have several criminal cases working at this time on suspects involved in those cases. I will do my best to report the cases if we are able to get charges filed on our suspects.
This has been a very busy week for me and I was way behind on answering my phone messages and E-mails all week. There was a good reason for that and even though the reason is personal in nature I am going to put it out for all to read.
When I returned from Joplin last week, I was able to work four hours on Friday, Aug. 5, before I took my wife to a local hospital for surgery. It was an elective procedure and all went well, but the real problems started on Sunday when my wife decided to fall in the shower and broke her shoulder in the process. So between the job and the broken shoulder I have one busy sheriff/husband. At this time things with Cheryl are going well and if I can just keep her still things will work out fine. Cheryl did ask that I mention she would appreciate it if you would add her to the bottom of your prayer list.
I had 27 phone messages and four pages of e-mails to answer. I still have not caught up with everyone on the phone calls but I do have the messages up to date. I will be in the office on Sunday, Aug. 14, working on the payroll and I will attempt a few more of the missing phone calls. Hopefully this next week I will be back to full speed and fairly well up to date.
As I write these words on Saturday morning, a group of our reserve deputies are staging a series of mini-spot checks around the county in high crime locations. While they will be looking for everything from traffic violations to active warrants and drugs, we also understand the fact that the bad guys must travel to your home to steal from you and they must then travel away from your home back to their rat’s nest with your stolen property. We hope these spot checks make life hard for them and give us some positive results to report.
We have released one more deputy from his field training program into the world of solo patrol after he passed his FTO check review examination in front of me and Capt. Tony Claar. We currently have two more new deputies in the FTO program and one more waiting for his turn with the training officers. We are also sending two of our senior deputies to a field training officer school in September at the Missouri Sheriff’s Association Training Academy to give us more FTO options for the future. When we are done with all of this, we will be back up to full speed.
Working shorthanded is nothing new for us we do it every day, but I will say that the past two months have been rough for us. We simply cannot keep up with the flood of calls this summer nor can we do timely and effective follow-ups for our active investigations. We are always coming from behind trying to catch up. As of noon on Saturday, our case number/calls for service count stands at 7,185. We have 67 names on the jail list this morning.
We had an incident in the jail this past week where an inmate threw an object into the computer part of our AFIS Live scan fingerprint machine and put it completely out of service. The bad news was the quoted $1,600 repair cost and the even worse news was that deliberate damage by an inmate was not covered under the maintenance agreement. Even worse news was that they said we had not renewed our maintenance agreement for 2011.
I was able to tell them exactly when I had sent them the renewal contract and after checking with their legal department they found that I had sent in the contract, so the first piece of good news was we did have a contract. The second piece of good news came when the service tech got here and discovered the damage was not near as severe as they first thought. It appears the final bill will be around $700 or so, which beats the heck out of $1,600, especially since we do not have the $1,600 in the current budget to cover the repair and I would have to find some funds committed somewhere else to cover that cost.
I also got a bill for $3,325 for the repair of our base radio after a lighting strike back in June of this year. Once again, there is no money in the budget to cover this repair, but I have turned this one in to our insurance carrier and have high hopes that they will cover the bill. The insurance company may be getting tired of lightning strikes because I think this is the fourth one since I took office in 2005, but when you have your radio antenna on top of the tallest tower around these parts, guess what is going to happen on occasion? With the tall hills and deep river bottoms found here in Pulaski County, moving the antenna is not a realistic option.
It appears that once again I have managed to fight my way through another column. Please drive with care and please, please, stay out of our jail. We do not want your body in our jail, but we will place your body in the jail if you ask. Remember, the jail light bulb burns bright!
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